Kumbartcho Sanctuary is a hidden pocket of wildlife and bushland beside the North Pine River in Eatons Hill of Brisbane.
Kumbartcho is derived from the local Aboriginal word for Hoop Pine, which was the dominant species in the area before they were felled by settlers to build ships.
The sanctuary is 6 hectares incorporating the last of the riverine rainforest. Originally Kumbartcho Sanctuary was Bunya Park Zoo. When it was sold for redevelopment, part of it was saved and made into the sanctuary for wildlife and corridor values.
There is two parking area at Kumbartcho Sanctuary with a playground and picnic area between them. Free BBQs and picnic tables are available and lovely green grass to throw out a picnic rug or kick a ball. We chose to drop a couple of picnic rugs for a Mother’s Day lunch.
Beside the playground, at the back of the first parking area, is the Environment Centre. The centre has information to learn about the environment and how to care for it.
The native fish display has live fish in tanks underneath the display. A themed display changes monthly to highlight an environmental topic and activities help engage the kids with the environmental displays.
The environmental centre is only open Tuesday to Friday during the middle of the day so during the holidays is the best time to go to the centre or with younger children not yet in school.
The nursery specialises in native plants, mostly from the South East Queensland region but also from North Queensland and Northern NSW. Most plants are available for around $2 in tubes and cheaper for large quantities.
The nursery is open Tuesday to Friday during the middle of the day but it is also open Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Behind the environmental centre and nursery is the sanctuary itself. Follow the paths around the sanctuary with themed parts along the way, such as Frog Hollow, the Fairytale Trail, the suspension bridge over the overflow from the waterhole and the walkway around the waterhole.
The paths are suitable for wheelchairs to a degree. Some of the paths lead to stairs and steep sections, however, there is a good amount that can be accessed with wheelchairs. The surface varies a lot with paved surfaces, wooden bridges and walkways, and gravel.
We spent most of the time around the waterhole looking at the birdlife and searching for the turtles swimming in the waters. The Kumbartcho Wetland Project in 2008 made improvements to support a functional wetland. A bird hide sits at one end of the waterhole and a bridge at the other end lets you stand over the water to look into it.
The bottom of the sanctuary links up with a walk leading to the Yuraba Conference Centre. The walk follows along the North Pine River through varying vegetation. Yuraba is an Aboriginal word meaning “Place of Spotted Gums”.
To get there:
From South Pine Road in Eatons Hill, turn into Eatons Crossing Rd. Follow Eatons Crossing Rd for 500m and turn left into Queen Elizabeth Dr with a brown sign for Kumbartcho Sanctuary shortly before it. Follow Queen Elizabeth Dr for 2.1km which becomes Bunya Crossing Rd. Continue around a right-hand bend into Drapers Rd and follow for 750m and turn left into Bunya Pine Ct. Follow Bunya Pine Ct for 200m with Kumbartcho Sanctuary on the left.
Hours: Mon-Sun 7am-7pm
Hours Nursery: Tue-Fri 9am-3pm and Sat-Sun 8am-12pm
Hours Environmental Centre: Tue-Fri 10am-2pm
Wheelchair accessible: Yes